RESULTS AND DISCUSSIONS
5.2 Proposed control measures for sharp blade hazard
The applicable control measures for sharp blade are isolation, engineering and administrative control, and PPE, as elimination and substitution controls are not suitable to be implemented.
Isolation control can be done by installing a barricade between the operator and the band saw blade to isolate the operator from the hazard of sharp blade and to avoid the worker
from entering the danger zone (Appendix N). Other method is to establish a danger zone by colour marking, for example, dangerous zone should be mark with red colour.
The engineering control involves in guarding the entire blade of the band saw except at the point of operation (Machine Guarding eTool, 2011) as shown in Appendix P. This control measure prevents the worker from making contact with the blade and to restrain the saw blade in the event of blade failure.
Stated in the Factories and Machinery (Fencing of Machinery and Safety) Regulations 2000, Regulation 24 (8) (a) (i), that the saw blade except the portion of the band saw blade between the table and the guide shall be enclosed by a guard.
Administrative controls for sharp blade hazard comprise of,
i. Developing and implementing safe operating procedures.
ii. Training and education of operators about the safe operating procedure of the band saw.
iii. Establishing and maintaining good housekeeping programs and keep equipment well maintained.
And for the usage of PPE, protective gloves are must in which recommended to protect the hands of workers from being cut or injured.
28 5.3 Proposed control measures for wood dust
It is a requirement for the employer to ensure the air in the work area of the his or her workers is in clean from any hazardous fume or dust, as stated in Factories and Machinery (Safety, Health and Welfare) Regulations 1970, Regulation 26 (1),
In every factory where any process carried on therein there is given off any fume or dust which is, or likely to be, injurious or offensive to any person, or where any substantial quantity of dust or fume is being accumulated, measures shall be taken to protect such persons against inhalation of the fume or dust and to prevent it accumulating in the factory.
As stated in the Occupational Safety and Health (Use and Standards of Exposure of Chemicals Hazardous to Health) Regulations 2000, Regulation 7 (1),
An employer shall ensure that the exposure of any person to any chemical hazardous to health listed in the Schedule I in any eight hour work shift of a work week does not exceed the eight-hour time-weighted average airborne concentration specified for that chemical in that Schedule.
Table 5.0 Wood dust maximum exposure limit as per listed in the First Schedule of Occupational Safety and Health (Use and Standards of Exposure of Chemicals Hazardous to Health) Regulations 2000 (NIOSH, 2011).
Thus, employer shall ensure that his workers exposure to wood dust does not exceed the exposure limit. There are a number of ways to inspect the work place for excessive airborne wood dust. A visual check may immediately identify a problem. Look for dust accumulated on machine, equipment, clothes, face, and hair and around the breathing zone of workers (Bean & Butcher, 2006). This will help determine where the dust is created and how to mitigate the problem. Appendix J and K show the accumulation of wood dust in the band saw area.
Sweeping the floors may also be causing unnecessary airborne wood dust. A clean work area during machine operation is a good indication that wood dust levels are below OSHA PELs. However, the only way to be certain is to monitor the air for wood dust. If necessary monitoring of exposure should be carried out, which is stated in the Occupational Safety and Health (Use and Standards of Exposure of Chemicals Hazardous to Health) Regulations 2000, Regulation 26 (1),
Where an assessment of risk to health indicates that monitoring of exposure is required or it is requisite for ensuring the maintenance of adequate control of the exposure of employees to chemicals hazardous to health, the employers shall ensure that the exposure of employees to chemicals hazardous to health is monitored in accordance an approved method of monitoring and analysis.
Elimination and substitution controls are not applicable to control the risk of wood dust exposure, which leaves isolation, engineering and administrative controls and also PPE.
For isolation other workers should be isolate from the band saw area to reduce exposure of the wood dust.
The principal engineering control technologies for wood dust is exhaust ventilation.
Dust collection is best achieved if done at the source of the point of operation of the equipment. Very fine dust that manages to escape the point-of-source collector can be captured from above by general exhaust points located at the ceiling. The collection unit should be emptied periodically in a manner which ensures that the dust does not cause further pollution of the environment.
The preventive and control measures of administrative control that can be taken are:
i. Use suction cleaners rather than compressed air to remove accumulated dust from ledges, corners, pits and floors.
ii. Rotate tasks to reduce workers’ exposure times.
iii. Provide education, supervision and training on wood dust hazards for both employers and employees.
iv. Monitor risks to ensure they remain as low as possible.
And for the PPE for protection against the exposure of wood dust is by wearing dust mask or respiratory mask to reduce inhalation of wood dust. Besides that, wood dust may come in contact with the eye so workers are also recommended to wear goggle.
Table 5.1 shows the summary of acts and regulations mentioned in this chapter.
Table 5.1 Summary of acts and regulations mentioned in this chapter.
Occupational Safety and Health Act 1994, Section 15 (1)
Employer to ensure safe working environment to his/her employees.
Occupational Safety and Health Act 1994, Section 24 (1)
Employee to follow instruction given by the employer regarding safety and health and to avoid from doing any unsafe act.
Factories and Machinery (Safety, Health and Welfare) Regulations 1970, Regulation 26 (1)
Employer to ensure the air in the work area of the his or her workers is in clean from any hazardous fume or dust
Occupational Safety and Health (Use and Standards of Exposure of Chemicals Hazardous to Health) Regulations 2000,
Regulation 7 (1)
PEL of chemicals/substances as stated in the Schedule I.
32 Occupational Safety and Health (Use and
Standards of Exposure of Chemicals Hazardous to Health) Regulations 2000,
Regulation 26 (1),
Monitoring of exposure to hazardous chemicals/substances.
Factories and Machinery (Fencing of Machinery and Safety) Regulations 2000,
Regulations 24 (8) (a) (i).
Saw blade (except that portion of the saw blade between the table and the guide) shall be enclosed by a guard